March 27, 2020
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CBS to air program on NCIS investigation into infamous Belfast murder

Maine State Police | BDN
Maine State Police | BDN
Chief Petty Officer Mervin 'Sonny' Grotton is shown in this undated photo. Grotton was shot and killed in his yard in Belfast, Maine in December 1983. Grotton's widow Norma Small, 61, was arrested Wednesday in Kansas, and two other men, were indicted for the murder. Police said Small hired Fuller to shoot her husband. Smith introduced the two, police said.

BELFAST, Maine — “The Sting,” a CBS “48 Hours” episode about Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents who delved into an infamous 1983 murder of a Belfast Navy chief petty officer, will air Tuesday night.

TV crews visited Belfast last June to film the episode that centers on the murder of Mervin “Sonny” Grotton. Grotton was 46 years old when he was shot three times by a gunman hunkered behind a woodpile in his yard as he walked from his pickup truck to his front door after work.

The murder occurred amid dozens of cocaine-related arrests, including two other murders, at a time when the drug was gripping Waldo County.

Grotton’s murder went unsolved for 17 years, before an undercover investigation led to the indictment of Joel Fuller, Boyd Smith and Grotton’s wife, Norma Grotton Small.

Small eventually was the only one convicted, in 2002, and was sentenced to 70 years in prison for hiring the hitman that shot and killed Grotton.

This episode of the documentary focuses on the undercover NCIS and Maine State Police investigation that led to Small’s conviction.

The six-part “48 Hours” documentary series centers on significant investigations handled by the NCIS. This will be the third television documentary program to feature Grotton’s murder.

The episode will air at 10 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, June 13.

Prior stories about the murder that were published by the Bangor Daily News:

TV crew visits Belfast for episode on infamous 1980s murder for hire case

‘Cosmic joke’: Son doesn’t want another depiction of his father’s murder

Belfast cocaine bust remembered, 30 years later


Correction: A previous version of this story misstated when the program was scheduled to air.

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